Heavy duty applications such as pick-ups, trucks, boats, and trains all benefit from the fuel efficiency and torque that diesel engines offer.
However the passenger car market, which here in Europe was once around 50% diesel, was sold a lie. Now realised, the diesel car market has collapsed, and manufacturers can’t get rid of their diesel products soon enough.
However an engine type that’s noisy, dirty, and obsolete may be wholly unsuited to a small European shopping car (apart from to dodge CO2 taxation), but it’s literally everything you could want in a rat rod!
Cue Sin City Motors’ wild Caterpillar diesel engined half-track rat rod, recreated here by TLCB favourite Redfern1950s in superb form.
Red’s Model Team interpretation of Sin City Motor’s spectacular creation captures the insanity of the real rat rod beautifully, and there’s a whole lot more to see on Flickr via the link!
Diesel has become a bit of a dirty word of late. We have Volkswagen to thank for that, but the fuel from the black pump was dirty anyway, they just got caught being particularly loathsome. However diesel is still useful, being much more suited to high-torque applications than petrol whilst producing less CO2 (the key driver behind climate change), and being more energy dense too, thereby making it more efficient.
We expect none of that thinking went into the D-Rod, a rat rod built for the ‘Welderup’ TV show from a 1920s Dodge that uses an enormous Cummins diesel truck engine because, well… why not? The result is, er… just watch this.
Fun as that looks we wouldn’t fancy breathing what comes out of the D-Rod, so this superb brick-built replica by Redfern 1950s will do us nicely instead. Red’s Model Team replica of the ‘Welderup’ D-Rod captures the look of the real car beautifully, yet it won’t give everyone standing near it lung cancer. Head to Red’s photostream via the link above for a closer look, and you can read his interview in TLCB’s Master MOCers series by clicking here.
This incredible creation was suggested to us by a reader, and whilst it’s not a car it is very probably the best Lego locomotive that we’ve ever seen. Built by TLCB Master MOCer BricksonWheels it’s a 2005 EMD SD70 Ace 4,300hp diesel-electric locomotive in Union Pacific livery, and it’s almost a meter and a half long.
Taking four months and 27,000 bricks to build, BricksonWheel’s latest creation features a fully detailed interior complete with lighting by third-party suppliers Brickstuff, as well as custom decals matching those of the real locomotive.
The diesel car market is a curious thing. It’s been around for ages, was relentlessly mocked by Top Gear and their like until a decade ago, yet now in Europe over half of all cars sold are fuelled from the black pump (and almost every luxury car, SUV or rep-mobile saloon is diesel powered). Even Top Gear now approves.
Currently though, diesel is rapidly falling out of favour for being nowhere near as clean in the real world as the official EU tests suggest, and it’s petrol-hybrid that is seen as the immediate solution to our urban air quality problems. But as hybrid technology is relatively new it’s being relentlessly mocked by Top Gear and their like… Hmm, where have we seen this before?
Anyway, because America is automotively about a decade behind Europe car manufacturers are now shifting their diesel wares stateside – probably in anticipation of the bottom falling out of the EU market at anytime soon. This new wave of diesels is being largely marketed as ‘Clean Diesel’ (because that way no-one will ask any searching questions), and Lino Martins has put this magic new fuel to good use in his wonderful diesel-powered Volksrod rat rod. It looks clean to us!
You can see more of Lino’s diesel monster on Flickr – click the link above to make the trip.